A few Saturdays ago, I had a chance to catch up with a lovely group of writer friends that I met last year through the Northern Ohio SCBWI annual conference. Many of us are now friends on Twitter and relished to have the chance to talk to each other in more than 140 characters at a time.
I think I stayed at the dinner table with most of them for about six hours!
All of us are on different points in our writing journey. Some are querying. One is one the verge of representation. A few of us are on sub. Some have had only one agent. A couple of us are in our second agent partnership. A few of us are still working on the same manuscript we workshopped at last year’s conference and others have written at least two new manuscripts. (I won’t tell you which category I fall under.) But no matter where we are, it is all various degrees of fascinating and frustrating and wonderful and mind-boggling.
At one point, a member of our group said, “It’s funny to see how our perspectives change with time. How decisions we’d make as newer writers on this journey aren’t decisions we’d make today.”
It was an interesting point. In three years time, I do feel like I’ve grown up a lot in my writing journey. I’ve mellowed out. I’ve learned not to obsess so much over things that are out of my control. I’ve figured out when to write an email to my agent and hit SAVE DRAFT rather than SEND. And how to be ok with my own process rather than trying to make someone else’s process work for me.
I’m sure this feeling of maturity and wisdom will evaporate when I enter uncharted territory. But for now, I like the fact that I’ve gained some perspective through the ups and downs of being a newbie in the world of publishing. I’m looking forward to hearing how careers and insights have changed during next year’s writer reunion. Until then, I’ll keep tabs on everyone’s journey from a distance, usually documented in 140 characters or less.
How has your perspective of writing/publishing changed from year to year? Is there a group of writers with whom you collectively mark the passage of time?
-- Kellie DuBay Gillis